What limits clutch size in waders?

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35 Scopus citations


Most Holarctic waders lay determinant clutches of four eggs, but the adaptive significance of this clutch size remains unresolved. The incubation-limitation hypothesis posits that waders cannot successfully incubate larger clutches, but this hypothesis has not received widespread acceptance. In this review, I show that clutch enlargement invariably leads to greater rates of nest predation, egg damage, and hatching failure, and that these three costs of incubation are sufficient to limit clutch size among most species of waders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-220
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999


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